Saturday, September 26, 2009

Agnes in Athens 1984 - 2009

Agnes Baltsa - Songs my country taught me
Athens, 15 Sept '09

Last time Agnes Baltsa appeared at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was in 1984, as Carmen, in the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production,
with José Carreras next to her as Don José,
a legendary performance that has haunted the memory of the Athenians.

This time Baltsa returned at the Roman Amphitheatre -after an absence of 25 years- to sing "the Greek concert" -for the second time in Athens.
The Concert sold out in just a few days (more than 5.000 tickets) and a new concert was announced for the 17th of September which was -alas!- cancelled due to heavy rain.

Günter Missenhardt, Agnes' husband on the left

Ultra-rare memoirs from the 1984 performances:

La cartolina and the ticket

A photo of Agnes and José,
scanned from the printed program

A photo, scanned from the printed program
carrying Agnes' autograph

(courtesy of LV)


Anonymous said...


Αυτά τα ιστορικά στοιχεία από παραστάσεις είναι εξαιρετικά, ενδιαφέροντα, ευχάριστα και με εκπλήξεις. O Weikert στην διεύθυνση της ορχήστρας; Θα ήταν καθόλα υπέροχη παράσταση.

Μπράβο σου! Κάτι τέτοια ντοκουμέντα είναι η αδυναμία μου (αγαπώ την Ιστορία βλέπεις).

Parsifal said...

Thanks Neco,

προσοχή στη λεπτομέρεια:

9 μμ (ακριβώς)

Μερσεντές (Benz)
Παίζουν οι Ορχήστρες Tonhalle και του Θεάτρου (αβάπτιστη)

Anonymous said...

Κάποια πράγματα... δεν αλλάζουν.

Anonymous said...

I hope we don't have to wait another 25 years before Agnes returns to the Herodes Atticus. I wish DGG will release a DVD of her Songs My Country Taught Me concert. I watched it in the Tokyo Bunkamara on 20 and 21 March 2004. Agnes performed with the Folk Orchestra of Greek Music and brought the magic of Greece into the cold Tokyo spring. The most wonderful moment was the encore of To Treno Fevgi Stis Okto when Agnes sang without the orchestra and without the microphone. It was magical!!

Love your blog!!


derwanderer said...

For the 1984 Carmen:
I was there and, 25 years after, I still have the frisson. Agnes and José were even more electric than in the well-known film from the Met, the quite hot greek september night was adding extra flavor to their acting -awsome! Agnes was singing "her" role", for "her" people, in "that" theatre, you could just feel and listen to her salvage excitment. Carreras, too, was galvanized with melting sweet tones to die for and fierce bursts of passion. The orchestra was crisp and fastish (that's all I can remember).
The mise en scène traditionnal enough, but the arches of the Odeion were adding to the Tavern scene (Les remparts de Seville) and the Plaza scene (finale) a touch of magic "realism".
This is the best opera production I have seen in Greece (with ROH Macbeth, with R. Bruson, Ghena, R. Lloyd and Downes conducting -1985- second)